The Strengths Guy

Paul Brewerton

https://www.strengthscope.com/blog/

A series of real talk weekly podcasts covering topics to inspire, educate and well, maybe even transform. Occupational psychologist Dr Paul Brewerton takes you inside

All Episodes

https://www.strengthscope.com/managing-a-team-through-change/ Many teams are experiencing significant change as a result of the events of 2020 but change within teams presents a perennial challenge. Team membership is always fluid, goals and objectives need to be revisited, projects and focuses come and go. This podcast focuses on what you can practically do to lead a team through change by ensuring they remain strong, fit and able to deal effectively with the challenges of change as they come up. The current context for teams is more turbulent than ever. The threat or reality of redundancies, restructure and shifting priorities are more present now than they have been for a number of years. This makes it even more important to look after your team’s health, whether you are a team member, line manager, business leader or a professional who supports teams in their development and performance. Here are some practical tips to help check in on the health of your team. In doing this, I’ll be letting you know about some of the secret sauce we use at Strengthscope when we’re supporting teams on their journey towards sustainable high performance.

Sep 20

20 min

More offices and workplaces are now starting to open and more people are returning to work, and there’s an unusual atmosphere of normality combined with concerns about the unknown. To ease those concerns and increase the feeling of normality, my headline advice is to go for familiarity and control, that will help ease any stress and tension you might be feeling, and that includes remembering your own strengths that can help you and risk areas which could hinder you. This week, then, I want to talk about returning to work…the strengths way.

Sep 13

10 min

Well-being at work is a hotter topic than ever and rightly so. We’re regularly being told that employees’ mental health is worsening and that stress-related absence is on the increase. According to the UK’s official HR-representing body (the CIPD) between 2018-19, work-related stress increased in 40% of organisations and reporting of mental health conditions increased by 60%. Now this may be in part to do with the reduction of stigma associated with mental health and stress which is a good thing but nonetheless, the figures are stark. And events of 2020 will have an additional significant impact, once the data is in. Today I want to talk to you about how strengths can help boost your well-being at work with some practical tips on doing that In summery: 1.  Find your own personal strengths that define you at your best and decide how you can use them more – this can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and increase engagement. 2.  Find your purpose, the difference you want to make in the world, and figure out how you can use your strengths to get you there. 3.  Discover your overdrive risks, when they’re most likely to turn up and then have a plan to stop them stressing you, so you stay more in control of you. 4.  Borrow others’ strengths when you need help and offer them yours when they do.

Sep 6

10 min

Something we’re hearing from more and more organisations is how they’re looking to help their employees explore new opportunities in areas of the business that are continuing to do well even when faced with the challenges we’re seeing today. Sometimes, this kind of role sidestep might mean a need to upskill and it may well also give people an opportunity to pursue areas of strength that they haven’t yet had much access to. I have five steps for you: know your strengths; work on your resilience; find your strength opportunities; take your strengths with you; and beware your overdrive risks.

Aug 31

10 min

The new normal is a funny phrase because it makes you think that at some point, change is going to stop and normal is going to be forever and then we can all chill a bit and get a bit of certainty back. Let’s hope that’s true but for now, one thing we know for sure is that there’s a lotT of change around and more change ahead. We don’t know what it will bring but we know it will mean that things won’t be the same as today. That's alongside all the background questions about how we live our lives that keep rattling around without a definite answer: Will I ever not to have to wear a mask again? Will I have my job in 6 months? Will my job be the same in 6 months? Will I be going back to the office? Will Zoom be a forever way of communicating? Will handshakes ever be ok again? Are shops going to come back or will I shop online forever? And so on and so on. Today I want to talk to you about how to constantly adjust to new normal after new normal after new normal without freaking out and without checking out.

Aug 23

10 min

Are you a perfectionist? Perfectionism has significant negative health impacts. Learn how to keep it under control so that it remains in service to you rather than you becoming a slave to perfection. https://www.strengthscope.com/how-to-aim-for-progress-not-perfection/ In a 2019 study of around 41,000 young people, researchers found that over the last 25 years, people across the US, Canada and the UK have become more perfectionistic in terms of: others having higher expectations of us, us having higher expectations of others, as well as us having higher expectations of ourselves. The rise of social media has been used to partly explain this effect and importantly, there are significant negative health outcomes associated with each form of perfectionism. My name’s Dr Paul Brewerton, the strengths guy, Doctor of Psychology and Founder of Strengthscope. My podcasts land with you at the start of each week to get you off to the strongest possible start. I podcast about work, life and strengths and how you can get the most from each. So what is perfectionism? Well I said in my intro that compared to a few decades ago, we now perceive that others have higher expectations of us, that we have higher expectations of others, and we have higher expectations of ourselves – that’s actually three types of perfectionism…socially-prescribed perfectionism, other-oriented perfectionism and self-oriented perfectionism – yikes! 

Aug 1

10 min

https://www.strengthscope.com/getting-the-best-from-your-strengths-in-a-crisis/ Once upon a time, the strengths approach wasn’t so well-known as it is today and one of the pushbacks to the approach I used to hear fairly often was about strengths being a great idea for the good times, but actually how helpful are your strengths in bad times, when you’re under pressure, in a crisis if you like? So today’s podcast relates directly to that challenge and the question – ‘how can you get the best from your strengths in a crisis?’ My name’s Dr Paul Brewerton, the strengths guy, Doctor of Psychology and Founder of Strengthscope. I podcast on Mondays to set you up for a strong week ahead, talking all things life, work and strengths and how you can get the best from each. Strengths in a crisis? Invaluable! Whether that crisis is small-scale and short-lived or whether it’s bigger and more chronic and long-lasting, your strengths are there for you to draw on every day, for you to remember to bring them out when things are going smoothly, and (even especially) during the choppy times too. Remember that your strengths are those things that energise you and that you are great at, or have the potential to become great at…so they should serve you well whatever the weather, right? Well, the challenges in using your strengths in a crisis are twofold.

Jul 26

9 min

Your social network can have a significant effect on your health – studies have shown that those with stronger social networks enjoy multiple physiological, psychological and long-term health benefits than those who lack social support. This is particularly important at times of pressure and stress, when a sense of isolation can lead to higher experienced stress levels. And what about at work? Today, I want to talk about the importance of cultivating a strong support network at work – what kind of people it might be most helpful to have around you and how to go about doing this. Social networks have been shown to be as closely linked to your chances of dying as smoking, booze, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Without a strong social network, raised stress hormones can lead to damage to our immune and cardiovascular systems, as well as reduced motivation to engage in healthy behaviours. Recovery from illness is prolonged when you don’t have a good support network too. Why might this be? Some research relates positive health outcomes to reduced chances of inflammation (as we know, the basis of all diseases) when we have people around us who we value; we also know that positive neurotransmitters and hormones like oxytocin kick in when we feel connected, and these hormones can reduce stress levels, which in turn improves immune system function, and that can reduce the chances of you getting ill. If you’re less likely to engage in unhealthy behaviours with a stronger social network, it all stands to reason that you’re less likely to get ill or die.

Jul 19

10 min

Why is it that the ‘news’ is pretty much always negative? We live in a world wired towards negativity bias (I podcast on this in Season 1, episode 2). As humans, we react quickly to potential threats, that is we’re programmed to hear about those things first; in addition, we kind of like to hear about other people’s misfortune so that we feel better about our own situation (so called schadenfreude). And the media has evolved to give us more of what we want…negative stories about bad things happening because study after study has shown that that’s what we want to consume. Today’s podcast is what to do about that when it all gets too much – how to rebalance all this negativity to get a sense of what’s really going in the world as a whole. See the trouble is that as humans, negativity bias switches us towards being open to the negative. We place greater emphasis on negative stimuli. Then another human bias (a psychological shortcut if you like, we humans have loads of these), availability bias means that we’re more likely to remember the negative news that we’ve seen because it’s more current in our memories. To top it all off, yet another psychological shortcut, confirmation bias means we’ll probably go and look for supportive evidence of anything that’s available to us, which as we’ve learned, is likely to be negative. So we end up in a sea of negative, believing that everything is negative. Read the full transcript: https://www.strengthscope.com/its-all-fake-news/

Jul 12

9 min

“A resilient individual is not someone who avoids stress but someone who learns how to tame and master it”. And my favourite definition is one that I heard at an event once – that “Resilience isn’t just the ability to bounce back, but to bounce forward”. So if you want to get the best from yourself and your team during challenging times, what are the four things that you need to do to build resilience?

Jul 6

10 min

‘New normal’ seems to be the phrase of the moment (at least it was last month). But in truth, nothing ever really gets a chance to ‘normalise’ these days, so pretty soon, ‘new normal’ will be ‘old world’ and the next wave of new will be on us. https://www.strengthscope.com/the-future-of-leadership-in-the-new-normal/ So how can leaders - how can anyone at any level for that matter - effectively navigate new after new after new? Today, I want to talk about the future of effective leadership, which to be honest is the now of effective leadership too. So have a listen to my 6 principles for the future of leadership and ask yourself how you’re measuring up. When I talk about each of my six guiding principles for effective leadership both for now and for future, they’re going to sound simple. But to get the most from these, you’re going to need to be brutally honest about where you’re at right now, and then sufficiently disciplined to get to where you want to be.  My Big Six are: purpose, strengths, humility, clarity, enabling and evolution. Each of these principles is based on sound research on human psychology and behaviour, as well as leadership research and practice.

Jun 28

9 min

Diversity is one of the hottest topics in organisational life and for good reason: it relates to fair treatment of all groups, and all people. Visit: https://www.strengthscope.com/getting-the-most-from-the-diverse-strengths-of-your-employees/ Taking a positive approach to diversity in organisations can also bring big commercial benefits, as I touched on in my podcast from not so long ago on ‘diversity and inclusion: how strengths can help’, at Season 7, episode 9. Today’s podcast considers in even more depth the business benefits of diversity and poses the question ‘are you getting the most from the diverse strengths of your employees?’ When organisations plan diversity and inclusion programmes, mostly these focus on observable differences like gender, ethnicity, disability and age differences. This is important to address biases and unfairness and ensure that a workforce is representative of its customers. But it’s also important for organisations to build a culture where differences in thinking and where differences in ways of working are valued and leveraged. A powerful, positive way of building a more diverse workforce is to focus on people’s unique strengths, or the underlying qualities they have that energise them and which they’re great at, or have the potential to become great at. Uncovering and then utilising people’s unique strengths is still not the default in most organisations. Once someone’s hired, many organisations still focus on people’s weaknesses and what they do wrong rather than helping them find opportunities to play to and develop their unique character strengths. So I have five top tips which should encourage a more balanced approach and help you supercharge diversity and inclusion in your organisation by bringing in a strengths approach in support.

Jun 21

9 min

Today’s podcast relates to diversity and inclusion, the strengths way – how you can help your people identify what makes them truly unique and then support them in bringing that uniqueness to work each day. Diversity and Inclusion strategies are seen as a technical necessity in organisations focused on fulfilling their legal requirements and stakeholder expectations. https://www.strengthscope.com/diversity-and-inclusion-how-strengths-can-help/ But this misses one of the greatest opportunities in people management today: discovering and encouraging the unique contribution that can be made by each and every employee that works for you. Why should we be concerned about bringing more diversity into the workplace. A Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues as a result of being more innovative. An American Sociological Association study found that for every 1% rise in the rate of gender diversity and ethnic diversity in a workforce, there is a 3% and 9% rise in sales revenues, respectively. According to most of the research on the topic of diversity, including the Boston Consulting Group work, this improvement in business performance due to increased diversity is largely attributed to an increased capacity for creativity and innovation, in itself resulting from the inclusion of a wider range of perspectives and sets of experiences, which is more possible in a more diverse workforce. Thus, if you encourage greater diversity, you’re going to create more innovation, more capacity for creative thought and as a result, better decision making, from top to bottom. Which sounds amazing in theory....

Jun 14

9 min

In a recent study cited by the Mental Health Foundation, there were just over 8 million cases of anxiety reported per year in the UK and the global figures country-by-country are similar. https://www.strengthscope.com/managing-anxiety-through-your-strengths/ During extraordinary times, particularly during times of crisis, economic or otherwise, people’s anxiety levels can increase significantly, as can other mental health outcomes, such as a depression and stress. And those 8 million were just the reported cases, which will represent only a fraction of the total number. Anxiety affects an awful lot of people from time to time and for some people, for much of the time. In today’s podcast, I’m going to focus on different methods for managing anxiety if you are experiencing it, including taking a strengths-focused approach. How should we define anxiety and what does it look like? Most mental health professionals will tell you that anxiety-related disorders come in various forms, including generalised anxiety, panic, social anxiety, phobias and post-traumatic stress. In their diagnosed forms, each of these can be called disorders, but for many people, elements of one or more of these disorders can be experienced at different times, without it actually ever being diagnosed. What then can you do to get on the front foot if you find yourself experiencing anxiety? I have 6 top tips: 1. use your strengths, 2. breathing/meditation/mindfulness, 3. exercise/sleep, 4. challenging your thoughts, 5. talking to someone, and 6. accepting what you can’t control.  #anxiety #anxietyhelp #managinganxiety #strengths #anxiety #depression #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #selfcare #love #stress #selflove #therapy #mentalhealthmatters #health #anxietyrelief #wellness #mindfulness #recovery #motivation #life#psychology #meditation #growthmindset #lifecoach #selfdoubt

Jun 7

10 min

Something we tend to forget as adults as we take on more responsibility, more life baggage, more ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’, is how to reconnect with the child that is still there in all of us. A particular child as well, our ‘free child’, the child who did things for the sheer joy, the enjoyment, the fun, the feeling. https://www.strengthscope.com/find-your-joy/ As we grow, it’s easy to lose that connection with the younger freer us and all too soon, the opportunities, and responsibilities, that we so craved as children moving into adulthood, can feel more like a burden at times and can keep us distant from the inner free spirit that was the child us. Today’s podcast is about finding your joy as an adult – what makes you feel good just for you and getting back to that. This podcast is best listened to as a follow on to ‘How to change the habits of a lifetime’, which is at Season 6, episode 8

May 31

10 min

Wherever your team are located right now – remotely or physically, some together, some apart, research shows us that when people play to their strengths, they are more likely to perform well. https://www.strengthscope.com/empowering-your-team-with-strengths/ The business case therefore for bringing strengths into everyday management performance conversations with employees include: Higher levels of well-being, motivation and self-confidence at the individual levelMore effective teamworking, problem-solving and improved relationships at the team levelFocusing on strengths during performance management conversations has a significant impact on employee performance, improving performance by over 36% on average. Today’s podcast focuses on how to empower your team using strengths in your one-to-one conversations as a manager. It's a quick introduction and reminder to empowering and enabling your team with strengths. When these discussions become part of day to day conversations with your direct reports, you will see their confidence grow, a greater sense of ownership and engagement with tasks and ultimately an increase in performance – as I mentioned, this can go up by 36% on average when used in performance management conversations. #strengths #humanresourcesmanagement #managers #management #projectmanagement #talentmanagement #managementteam #skillsmanagement #teammanagement #leadershipmatters #humanresource

May 24

8 min

During the course of each day, you’re likely to experience some emotions that are uncomfortable, difficult, distracting or we might even label them as negative or unwanted. These emotions can be brought on by a whole range of triggers – work, relationships, memories, pressure, stress, the weather, our general mindset and so on – humans are complex creatures. The power of discomfort – managing your emotions well These uncomfortable emotions can be distracting and can sometimes lead us to a place of what feels like ‘stuckness’ because we don’t notice or can’t pinpoint what we’re feeling so we just find ourselves getting irritable and tetchy. That then causes a negative response in others which creates a self-fulfilling prophecy ("see, I was right to be feeling a bit rubbish today, looks like everyone’s feeling pretty low"), leading to even more stuckness. Today’s podcast focuses in on uncomfortable emotions and helping you to manage them by noticing them, describing them and then choosing whether, and when, to act on them.

May 17

9 min

Daily strength users enjoy higher levels of well-being, lower stress levels, higher levels of motivation, are more effective at problem-solving, have improved relationships at work, higher self-confidence, see greater career success and enjoy higher levels of job satisfaction. For the research findings which back up all of that, check the references at the end of this blog. What we also know is that if you seek to learn and develop in areas of strength, where energy and motivation already exist, you’re also more likely to see quick and strong results. Today’s podcast is about directing your learning towards areas of strength – why and how.

Apr 27

9 min

There’s negativity all around us and sometimes that can make things feel stuck, like we can’t move forward. It’s relatively easy to get caught up in those negative feelings so our focus can become even more negative and we see even more of the negative when actually nothing much has really changed. Get this on the Strenghtscope blog Today’s podcast is all about becoming aware of your mindset and making conscious choices about shifting it when you’re ready to do so. That is, learning how to move from the path of limitation to the path of possibility. The path of possibility is there for you, and strengths can give you a gateway to get there.

Apr 19

9 min

Stress affects us more than we might think. The American Institute of Stress recently reported that over 80% of workers feel stressed at work at some time, so understanding what stress is is important. Stress occurs when the demands of a situation exceed your perceived ability to deal with them. The more that we perceive we can control, the less stressed we feel. Today’s podcast is about managing stress and change and controlling the controllables, so that you can stay on top of stress and stay at your best.

Apr 13

9 min

We’ve all been there – when you feel you’re in a situation where you just don’t have the strength to get the best outcome. You might be facing change without having a Flexibility strength. Or you might need to work with others but you don’t have Collaboration as a strength. Or you may be needing to think about the future, without the benefit of a Strategic mindedness strength. What can you do in these situations? You might second guess yourself, you might feel anxious that you don’t have what it takes, you might even find yourself engaging in negative self-talk, beating yourself up for not having the right stuff. So what can you do when you find yourself in a place where you feel like a fish out of water, lacking confidence, uncertain and in uncharted territory? Today’s podcast is about what to do when you just don’t feel that you have the strength. Here are 3 tips (options) that will help you face these situations.

Apr 5

7 min

So I’ve been working with wholly or partially dispersed or virtual teams for around 15 years, across a number of industries and today, I’d like to talk about what I’ve learned from working with these teams to help them ensure that they get the very best from themselves and from others in the team when working at distance. This podcast is best consumed in combination with my others on Making homeworking work for you (Season 6, Episode 12) and Getting the most from remote management (Season 7, Episode 1), so check those out too. Whether you’re a team leader, or a team member, in a virtual team, or even in a co-located team to be honest, this podcast is for you. Transcript here: Getting the best from virtual teamworking Now, the challenges with virtual teamworking are several and can include time zone differences, communication challenges, people not feeling connected or involved, fewer non-verbal cues than in co-located environments. Here’s what the science says about virtual teamworking… Teams with a strong group identity tend to feel closer and more unitedTeam members who share personal information, like stuff they enjoy or information about family life, develop deeper connections and greater trustThis is important: trust among team members starts lower in virtual teams than in face-to-face teams, but over time, it can build to the same levelsFormalising a virtual team’s goals, roles and communication methods at the start of the team’s journey improves effectivenessShared leadership rather than hierarchical leadership is associated with improved team performance, probably because it’s impossible for one person to direct an entire project, so team leadership works best with team members leading in their areas of expertise. So with all that, and so so much more, in mind, I bring you my tips for getting the best from virtual team working.

Mar 30

9 min

More and more people are managing some or all of their team remotely these days – partly because technology allows and in some cases, because circumstances dictate. Whatever the reason for you managing others remotely, or even you being managed remotely, I’d like to share some tips with you on today’s podcast as to how to get the very best from yourself and your team if you’re in that place. Transcript - Getting the most from remote management First up, there’s nothing virtual or remote about virtual or remote management, at least not in the literal sense. Like I mean it shouldn’t feel either virtual or remote to your team – instead the aim is to make it feel close and real. Management at a distance needs an even greater awareness of human psychology and your team’s needs than co-located management. And that’s particularly the case in challenging or stressful times when there’s uncertainty about, so my tips relate firstly to good practice management, whether you’re co-located or working separately from your team, and secondly to those things that you need to be particularly aware of when managing from a distance. So here’s my tips for good practice remote management. There’s a few here, so let’s get going

Mar 22

10 min

Working from home is on the increase thanks mainly to improvements in communication and work technology, and for some people it’s more of a necessity because of their location or home circumstances. Personally, I work from home 2 days a week so that I can do the school run twice a week and I’ve had periods of my working life where I’ve been full time working from home and also part-time homeworking, so I kind of know the territory both with kids in my life and without kids.  Today’s podcast is about how you can make homeworking work for you, whatever your individual work preferences and style may be.

Mar 15

7 min

Transcription: Womankind podversation with Alicia Luther-Jones Today we have an exciting podversation with Alicia Luther-Jones, Philanthropy Manager at Womankind, one of Strengthscope’s charity partners. We talk about Womankind’s vision and purpose, because more people need to know about the amazing work these guys do.

Mar 8

13 min

The energy lifeline - plotting your year ahead As we come to financial year end for many organisations, it may well be worth taking a moment to stop and reflect on how the last year at work has been for and how you can get more out of the year ahead. To do that, I want to introduce you today to the energy lifeline – a handy tool that can be used in all sorts of ways…looking at your whole career, your relationships, your family and home life, all sorts really, with the same basic approach. Today though, we’ll be using the energy lifeline to reflect on the year just gone at work so that you can identify when you were at your most energised and least energised, what the underlying reasons might have been for this and how you make that work for you in planning for the year ahead. So you can plan your year to get the best from yourself and your life without the year running away with itself and you being merely a passenger. 

Mar 1

8 min

So what is the greatest leadership risk of all? It’s not the stuff that leaders do badly or don’t do at all, despite what you might think. It’s not having a lack of skills in certain areas, although of course that can be a problem all of its own. No, the greatest leadership risk of them all is the dreaded strength in overdrive. Today I want to talk about this leadership risk in more detail – how to recognise strengths in overdrive and what to do about it once that overdrive behaviour has been spotted.

Feb 23

10 min

Energise your employee experience Employers are starting to wake up to the fact that it’s them who need to start flexing to the needs and expectations of their employees rather than the other way around.  And in my view, these changes are accelerating, won’t be reversed and any employer that doesn’t shift its thinking will fail to attract and keep good people, ultimately leading to untimely death. In todays podcast I am going look through a strengths lens – well there’s no greater relevance for strengths than in the context of the employee experience. 

Feb 16

9 min

How to change the habits of a lifetime Changing habits comes up a lot on people’s to do lists – when we want to keep our NY resolutions, lose weight, get fit, stop smoking, eat healthily and so on and so on. With the stuff I talk about on these podcasts, it’s usually the case that we’re wanting to change habituated behaviour by adopting new thinking or new behavioural patterns and using our brain’s innate ability to create more efficient neural networks. But some of our habituated patterns of thinking and behaviour go soooo far back to our early lives that they may well underpin many of our behaviours in later life, wait for it, without us even knowing! I’m going to be talking today about one way of looking at these drivers of our behaviour, in the context of a psychotherapeutic system called Transactional Analysis. Why? Because I want to talk about whether what our parents gave us as ways of thinking and behaving from the very beginning of our lives are still working for us now. And if not, what we can do about it.

Feb 11

11 min

Today's podcast is about how adding strengths together can actually lead to a multiplication of strengths (I know right, mad maths), which can make those strengths either super-strong, or which may lead to them getting totally out of control. How to create super-strengths and not strength monsters

Feb 3

9 min

My podcasts focus on the intersect between life and work and strengths and Oh My Actual God (other deities are available), today’s podcast really does cover all three. Like literally, in the form of a diagram - Ikigai. Live Longer With Ikigai

Jan 27

9 min

Today’s podcast is all about the intersection between work and strengths and how to do this best, particularly when it comes to leadership development. Make your leadership 360 degree feedback program work

Jan 20

8 min

Employee engagement is a workplace approach designed to ensure that employees are committed to their organisation’s goals and values, motivated to contribute to organisational success, and are able at the same time to enhance their own sense of wellbeing. Engaging employees is seen as a bit of a ‘holy grail’ when it comes to managing people and looking after their well-being. So how exactly do people professionals – from departments like Human Resources, Learning and Development and Organisation Development - create the conditions to engage employees in their work? That’s the topic of today’s podcast. To keep it simple, I’m going to focus on four key elements for engaging employees in the workplace.

Jan 13

8 min

So as we head in to the new year, there’s a good chance that you’ll be thinking about your goals for the year ahead. So the question I’m posing this week, and giving you some tips for, is how best to structure your goal-setting for the start of the year (or quite frankly for any time) to give you the best possible chance of success. And, as usual, my tips are backed by science.

Jan 6

8 min

This week I am delighted to be joined for a podversation by Louise Blanchett, a wonderful lady with approximately 200% more energy than me. I know right? And Louise is going to tell her story of strengths through her career so far – how she’s used the approach in her corporate career, for her own personal development and outside of work too.

Dec 2019

18 min

Being present at Chrismas I know you know that Christmas can be stressful. Forget that, Christmas is stressful. In fact, hold on, has someone actually designed-in stress to Christmas as a way of making more money from us? Or is that a conspiracy theory too far? Ok, so assuming no one's actually deliberately manipulating our stress levels against our will at Christmas, we’re probably more in control of the Christmassy goings-on than we think. Present-buying, late-night shopping, organising family events, friend get-togethers, work socials, Christmas dinner organising, cooking, hosting, present-giving, family tensions, overindulging. All these things can be seen as standard stresses that we associate with Christmas but they’re also kind of restricted to just Christmas itself – like nothing else is quite like it for creating that nervous anxiety. So in today’s podcast, I want to talk about staying present at Christmas and keeping focused on the important things, so you don’t get washed away in a sea of unsatisfying busyness only to wake up on Boxing Day needing a serious holiday and wondering what the last few weeks have all been for.

Dec 2019

8 min

There’s a lot of contrary advice out there on whether we’re better at making decisions with our ‘hearts’ (keying into our intuition, values and feelings) or with our ‘heads’ (referencing logic, facts and evidence), so I wanted to spend today’s podcast considering how you can get the best from both worlds, rather than ignoring, suppressing or overplaying one or the other. How to make decisions

Dec 2019

8 min

It is my complete and utter delight to be joined by a truly warm and wonderful human being, a living legend, a future visionary, thought leader and key influencer of today – yes, I welcome Dr Naeema Pasha, Director of Henley Careers at Henley Business School to the mic. In this podversation, we talk about Generation Z – who are they, what they want with us, from us, and for us and the world, and how we might need to organise our organisations in a different way in order to create the best possible workplace future. And we’re going to place a particular focus on careers, because Naeema, as Director of Henley Careers, you direct careers.

Nov 2019

20 min

In today’s podcast, I want to talk about a popular topic – how to own your own development, in a work context. In some organisations, there will be a formal process for putting together your personal development plan. In others, there will be less of a formal process and more of an informal ‘development by request’ process, where you’ll need to put together your reasoning behind requesting a particular piece of development. So how do you take control of your development? The strengths way?

Nov 2019

8 min

When you watch people who lead and manage others well – people that you come into contact with at work, or that you hear about from others, they’ll all be very different people – different values, stories, experiences, attitudes – everyone’s unique, right? But in terms of some of the behaviours of the very best leaders and managers – there is some commonality. And one of the things that the best leaders and managers have in common is that they are able to identify areas of natural strength for people, hold them accountable in these areas and encourage them to stretch those areas out of their comfort zones so that their people can take their performance and contribution to the next level. Which would make those leaders strengths maximisers. In today’s podcast, I want to talk about maximising the strengths of others as one of the central practices of great leadership and management – how to do it, and what to watch out for too.

Nov 2019

9 min

What is strengths-based coaching and how does it differ from more traditional approaches? In today’s podcast, I’m going to give you some tips and some killer questions that will help you supercharge any coaching-type conversation that you may have – whether it’s with a colleague, a direct report or an actual coachee.

Nov 2019

9 min

I’m excited today to be bringing you a podversation which follows my podcast on how to improve employee engagement. I thought it might be helpful to share our experience of employee engagement at Strengthscope…good, bad and indifferent. We want to share what we do at different stages of the employee experience – what’s worked and what’s work in progress (although it’s all work in progress really, never really ends etc etc). I’m super excited to introduce you to our People and Community Lead at Strengthscope, Migle Sataite.

Oct 2019

12 min

Today’s podcast has a clear work focus and is how to set expectations. Well I say it’s a clear work focus…actually, who’s to say that following some of these approaches wouldn’t be helpful outside of work too. But mainly I’m going to be talking about work as the focus. Transcript: How to set expectations at work

Oct 2019

8 min

To be successful with any task or activity, you need to be engaged with it, particularly at work. Increasing employee engagement at work has been shown to directly relate to organisational success – profitability, productivity, customer loyalty and reduced levels of absenteeism and turnover. In today’s podcast, I am going to talk about what are some of the proven benefits of increased employee engagement are.

Oct 2019

8 min

This week I talk about the challenges, both physically and mentally, that the change of the season brings. Listen in to hear my tips on setting yourself up for a great winter and beat those winter blues.

Oct 2019

8 min

What are management and leadership strengths and how can you get them? One of the questions I am often asked in my work with leaders is ‘do I have the right strengths to be a leader?’. In this podcast I talk about how it matters far less which strengths you have, but what matters more is how you use them. Listen in to hear my tips on getting know your strengths and using them effectively in any role.

Sep 2019

9 min

In this podversation, I am joined by Jane Grant – UK Head of Learning and Development at WSP. We’re going to be talking about WSP’s practical application of the strengths approach (and our strengths assessment tool Strengthscope) in different parts of the WSP business. WSP is a Canadian business providing management and consultancy services to the built and natural environment with over 50,000 staff (of which there are 8,000 in the UK), making it one of the largest professional services firms in the world, with 500 offices across 40 countries.

Sep 2019

15 min

Performance management processes – you know, what many people still call appraisals – are having a bit of facelift, an overhaul, a loving boot in many organisations that we’re working with at Strengthscope. Why? Because traditional appraisals don’t work so well, or even at all, with today’s employees. In this podcast, I want to talk about how the performance management process is getting an upgrade the strength way and what that means in practice.

Sep 2019

8 min

In our work around strengths – helping people to find, share and develop their strengths – we’re often asked the question…do strengths change over time? On this podcast, I want to describe a couple of occasions where strengths do shift over time, both to become more prominent, or to play a lesser role.

Jul 2019

8 min

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